Despite the small hill climb today, we were the most consistently content with our walk. The hills seemed easier; the rain and wind, less of a nuisance and we spent the whole day with smiles on our faces and a spring in our step. Knowing we only had a short walk, we were in no rush to leave our sleeping bags in the morning.
We ate breakfast at a leisurely pace and set off at around 9:30am. The climb up to Pelion pass was manageable and Jenna and I chatted the hours away, which we hadn’t done yet on the trip. Todays walk marked the halfway point but also a turning point in out overall fitness and strength. The packs feel a little lighter and the steep ascents feel a little easier. Partly due to the fact that we have already eaten half of our food rations.
We skipped the opportunity to summit Mt Ossa (Tasmania’s highest peak). The cloud cover would not have given us the pay off of a view of the National Park. Aside from which, I had no intention of doing any extra climbs on this trip – maybe next time.
The hut tonight at Kia Ora is cosy to the point of being a little too snug. It will be interesting at dinner time because there aren’t enough table and chairs for everyone to sit and eat. It would have been easier to camp and have our own space if it wasn’t for my deficient sleeping bag. With the snow and rain of the last couple of days I worry about being too cold to sleep, which resulted in a grumpy mornings walk on our second day. Tonight we should be snug as bugs, so the only fear will be being too warm! Not a bad problem to have.
Currently I am sitting on my bedroll, reading about my next 3 days walking and I unknowingly broke out into a massive grin. I am unbelievably happy in this filthy state, in this musty old hut, filled to the brim with wet, sweaty and happy people.